Tuesday, August 17, 2010


   So there I was in the shop on Saturday close to closing and this wave of  "I gotta stitch something tonight or I'm going to die .. I must stitch .. I must cross stitch" swept over me.  OK .. this is good.  I've been felting for way too long - it's time to get back to my 'true love' and what better time than when you really really WANT to stitch something!  So .. this is good .. there are designs I've wanted to do!

  Opened up the book drawers and pulled out Lizzie Kate's "Eek Boo Hiss".  We'd just gotten in the prefinished banners for these designs from Stitch A Gift and I have been in love with that crazy cat ever since the chart came in!  That's it .. I'm going to stitch "Hiss"!   Pulled the fibers .. cool!  Went to get fabric ... what?  I'm out of 30ct Chestnut??  Dug through all the fabric .. no chestnut to be found.  Put the fibers back. Put the chart back.
That's OK .. the one I've really wanted to do is The Trilogy's "Sneak Peek Halloween" series .. and part 2 has already been released.  Oh no .. we're out of the 32ct Lime Belfast linen that Debbie chose to do hers on .. and it's a really cool color and I just have to do this design on that Lime green.  Looked up at the shelves in the back .. there's Debbie's "Stash Box" .. and well well lookie here ... there's a piece of Lime Belfast cut just for this design peeking out at me!  Being the kind benevolent shop owner/boss that I am, rather than just take the fabric, I called Debbie at home and whined about wanting to use her fabric until she gave in and granted me permission to 'steal it' from her box . as long as I'd reorder it for her.  Yes, I will .. cross my heart and hope to die . I'll reorder it!!  So happy once again ... pulled the fibers and the embellishment pack for the design and then went to the book drawers .. GONE!  No Chart!!  Oh shoot .. that's right .. I'd just reordered it on Friday!  This is not going well.  I have to stitch tonight and it has to be something I really really want to stitch or else I won't finish it (I may not finish it anyway .. I have 'ending' problems), but ... it has to sing out to me!

OK .. last night just saw for the first time The Stitcherhood's "My Cauldron" design.  I was going to order it on Monday morning ... but now .. I want to stitch it NOW!!  What to do, what to do. Thinking that maybe I can get an idea, if I can find a picture big enough, of where to start stitching ... and yes, I know .. that's like SO illegal!  But I am going to buy the chart .. I just want to start stitching it tonight!  And feeling guilty as hell, went to The Stitcherhood's website ... where ... what to my wondering eyes does appear ... but a button to click on to purchase a down loadable pdf chart of "My Cauldron"!!!!  Saints be praised .. now I don't have to sin in a stitcher-y way (which I really would never ever do, honest, but I just wanted to stitch in the worst way and ... sigh!).  Pay Pal is my friend .. purchased the chart, printed it off, and ta da .. I'm happy!!!

Only two colors of DMC floss.  DMC floss?  I don't want to stitch with regular old floss, so I pulled the two colors and matched them up to GAST Gold Leaf and WDW Onyx.  Now, onto fabric.  WHITE?  What is it with designers stuck in a box with boring old fabrics .. I want color, I want some splash, I want to have stitching fun!  So, went to the 30ct hand-dyes to select my shade. Nothing to be had!  Honest .. Diana was standing there laughing at me, but also offering suggestions.  Nothing worked ... oh, some went with the Onyx with no problem, but the 'gold' was going to be my problem child.  And others that would have worked, I didn't have a piece the size I needed!

OK .. lets look at the 28ct hand-dyed fabrics.  Are the forces of the universe working against me?  Will I have to turn to felting forever after all and give up stitching ... at least for tonight and tomorrow???  Nothing to be found.  Diana said that she couldn't believe we didn't have a purple of some kind, and a light went off in my head!  Jobelan!  I have hand-dyed Jobelan and I wonder if Lavender Sunset would work?!   ICK   But then ... there it was .. it was like a little fabric epiphany ... Stormy Grey!  I've been wanting to do something on that fabric but hadn't found the design for it yet ... and laid the two colors out ... and THIS WOULD WORK!
Happily left the shop for the night and went home.
Had to start the design in the center as the fabric wasn't 'quite' the size it should be to give me 3" all the way around, and I didn't want to be off center so .. counted up and over and inserted the needle.  I'm having to stitch words.  Did the  OVER  then counted up to  RUNNETH  and stitched those letters.  Now, starting at the very end of the world   CAULDRON (since it had the least counting to do that way), stitched that word.
Then .. gave myself a break from black and started to stitch one of the swirls in gold.  THIS IS FUN!!!

Looked at the design Monday night ..... and apparently Christmas was on my mind, even though it's way too early for Christmas thoughts ... but  NO L!   The word said   CAUDRON.   See .. no   L!
I'm sure someone would notice that, so started pulling out the CAU.  I'll start remedial spelling again tonight and maybe this time actually LOOK at the chart ... and the fabric .. as I'm stitching.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Felting At The Art Fair

   ..  of course I WAS felting while AT the Art At The Center ... figured that most would not have any idea of what my 'art' was all about otherwise.  And it was a good thing too .. heard so many comments on the order of ... "you knit and then throw it in the washer and dryer" (um, no washing machine or dryer or knitting involved here) ... "you make these out of felt" (thinking you'd buy sheets of felt and sew them somehow) ... and best of all ... "hey look, she's making something right now" and in they'd come to check it all out!  Did several mini lessons and garnered a lot of interest in not only the technique, but in the shop here in town too!  Quite a few took my card .. we'll see if they follow through.  Got some inquiries as to if I would do 'custom orders' too, and told them .. call me and we'll talk!

  Friday after work Dave and I went out to get the tent set up .. it was pretty breezy so we drove home and then drove back a bit later to make sure the tent hadn't flown off somewhere.  You could tell those who follow shows like this from place to place .. they had tubes of cement to attach to the tent poles to keep it where it was!  We figured that if we drove back again to check on the tent and found it was blowing around we'd just tie it down to that tent next to us!
  Saturday morning, got to the Community Center around 8:30am to start the display set up.  That's when I realized for sure that I WOULD need the two additional card tables Debbie would be bringing with her .. and came to a screaming halt. I didn't really think I had that much to bring, but in checking it over the night before found that with pincushions and all, I had 111 felted things!!!
 Luckily Debbie got there an hour or so later and I had time to do my thing.  People would be walking around while we were doing set up and coming in  to look.  A bit of a pain, but also a lot of fun.   :)   
  I will say that my 'sign' got a lot of attention! 
It was breezy but HOT ... so the sides were not attached to the tent, just the overhead for shade.  Every time the breeze kicked up, fairies would go flying, Santa tried to fly without his reindeer, bowls would roll .. kept Debbie and I busy (and well exercised) sitting down then leaping up to pick up felted peoples and put them back and then sit down only to jump up again as "Baaaabs" and "Frankie" tried to run away.  That's how we spent the day .. from noon till 8pm. 

Early afternoon, two women came into the tent to AWARD me a 2nd Place ribbon and check for $75.00!  I'd been voted as 2nd best at the art fair .. and they told me that their artist judges 'overwhelemly' voted for me!  What a thrill .. how cool is that?!  I'm still up in the air over it!
    Sunday, got to the Center around 9am.  It was pretty windy that day .. and Hotter!  I tried to get things set up leaving the sides of then tent and part of the back wall 'down'.  Things were a shakin'!  Finally got boxes that had some weight to them, and set them over the sides of the tent as well as tried to get the sides underneath the table legs (that was 'almost' a disaster .. but finally worked!).  While my creations didn't 'fly' away like the day before, they did try to run around the tent a bit.  LouAnn got into the catch and release game of it pretty quickly.  The sales on Sunday were with people who had been in on Saturday and kept hearing a felted scupture call out their name to them all that night .. so they had to come back to get it!
Also had two people come in who had been called by friends to come see what I was exhibiting .. they wanted to give me information on applying to show at two different art fairs that were coming up.  One at the Renaissance Fair, the other at the Flint Institute of Art!    wowsers

Although there were more in attendance on Saturday than there were on Sunday, it would appear that when the 'sides were not up', more would actually come into the tent to look around.  Something else that was interesting .. on Saturday, just about every man who came in, picked up one of these two bowls.
On Sunday, forget about the bowls .. it didn't matter whether a guy came in or was just walking by .. "Ivan and His Bunny" got all the male attention that day!  Go figure!

All in all .. it was a fun experience (with the exception of an hour or so where Debbie and I looked at each other and said ... "so this is what boredom feels like!"    :)  I didn't sell out  but I did do $230 in sales, so I paid for the tent AND the space rental plus had a bit left over.  I did get 2nd Place!  I had interest in felting classes and showing what felting was all about; Had people find out I had a needlework shop here in town;  and was asked to submit entries for other shows.  I even got some sun!!   
Now I have the task of taking pictures of everything left from different angles so I can add them to my etsy store!